childhood

‘We arrived in Daytona Beach on a red-eye flight to discover the hotel we booked had been demolished weeks earlier.’: Mom hilariously compares Spring Break ’00 to now

“Picture it: Spring Break, 2000. We spent the week playing volleyball in the burning sand and drinking $1 rum concoctions as Sisqó’s ‘Thong Song’ pounded through the speakers of every club we went to. It was inconvenient, exhausting, and absolutely amazing. Spring break at 40 looks a little different.”

‘At 12, the psychiatrist gave an ultimatum. ‘If you don’t gain 0.2 pounds by Monday, I’m sticking a tube down your throat and admitting you to the psych ward.’: Anorexia survivor says ‘recovery is a choice I make every day’

“I cheated my way out, really believing the worst was over. That lasted 12 hours. My mom took me to the supermarket to buy a birthday cake for my friend. I stood in the cake aisle and started to panic. I couldn’t do it. I was so consumed by it, even looking at the cake felt like something I’d have to punish myself for. I left the story empty-handed and in tears. I didn’t think I’d live to see my 15th birthday.”

‘All I could muster at the party was, ‘Are you serious?’ over and over, as if my husband would use such heavy words to joke. ‘Yes, they found him in his room.’: Woman recalls complicated relationship with incarcerated father

“‘I have to get naked and bend over. They want to make sure I’m not sneaking anything in my butt cheeks.’ After a revolving door of drugs and women, and a lifetime of waiting for you to change, I gave up. It felt like a knife on your exposed flesh. I could see it in your eyes but that wasn’t enough to make me say ‘Dad.’ I’d be damned before I let you in again.”

‘Mommy, why was Charlie calling me Rich Boy?’ I want, more than anything, to give my children watermelon baskets.’: Mom teaches son ‘rich can mean many different things’

“The other day one of my son’s friends, who has been spending a lot of time at our house, called him ‘Rich Boy.’ At the time, my son really didn’t have much to say about it, but at bedtime something was on his mind that he needed help sorting out. ‘Mommy, why was Charlie calling me Rich Boy?’ ​I felt tears begin to sting my eyes and clenched my toes to will them back into place.”

‘She called the police on me while in my dorm because I didn’t text her back soon enough. I finally committed to cutting her out of my life, for good.’: Woman says narcissist mother ‘showed me everything I do not want to be’

“‘Mommy will be so happy and proud of me!’ Suds started pouring out of the machine. Her eyes turned the deepest shade of black I’ve ever seen. She withheld my food and called my stepfather to tell him to come home and beat me, just to watch me suffer. My mother showed me everything, with extreme clarity, I do not want to be.”

‘I fell in love at 17 and had two boys. Then the doctor said, ‘We believe Cale has autism, and I suspect your youngest does too.’: Teen mom births 2 non-verbal, autistic sons, ‘Love needs no words’

“The things I loved most about my sons turned out to be red flags. When others parents learned they were autistic, they said, ‘I’m so sorry’ as if they are sick. ‘Did the vaccines cause it?’ They tell me I should opt out of them, as if autism is a greater risk than a preventable illness that could kill. I will no longer feel sad for my boys.”

‘She is simply too complicated.’ They didn’t see me as a little girl anymore. I was nothing but a body.’: Childhood leukemia survivor’s most important lesson, ‘Emotions are meant to be felt’

“I made a promise to myself. If I was cleared from having the chance of developing a second cancer, I’d get a tattoo. I met a lady who asked me a question that changed my life and perspective forever. ‘Why are you the way that you are?’ she asked. From then on, we became connected by the heart. We were able to help heal each other.”

‘How will you know you don’t like sex if you don’t try?’ Kissing left me uncomfortable. As a ‘good Catholic girl,’ I was pressured to marry and have kids.’: Asexual woman says she ‘doesn’t need sex to feel happy’

“I grew up in a conservative household. My father had strict rules: Dating was for finding someone to marry, and premarital sex was bad. I had my share of crushes, but I could never imagine myself doing anything sexually charged. When I went to college, a guy friend asked me out on a date. He was aware I wanted to stay a virgin. I quickly realized kissing left me uncomfortable. I was told time and time again, ‘You just haven’t found the right person yet.'”

‘Lindsey, you have a problem.’ I shuddered in fear. I was lying on the bathroom floor. ‘No, no, no. Not again. Is this really happening?’: Woman 401 days sober after grueling addiction to alcohol, ‘I promise you, life gets easier’

“The night before, on my 21st birthday, I participated in an escapade that led my boyfriend and I into a terrible fight at a country club. The cops had to break us up. Nobody knew I’d spent hours in a holding cell after being arrested. Or that I’d blacked out on the highway and cheated on a few of my boyfriends. Or even that I’d drink a bottle of wine after my nursing shifts and show up to work hungover, my patients’ lives in my hands. I didn’t want to believe I had a problem.”

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